The 2022 Celebration of Lights at Morris Park kicked off Saturday evening with the popular Market in the Park, welcoming visitors to enjoy more than 500 light displays while shopping at nearly 60 local vendors.
Each year, Market in the Park kicks off the popular Celebration of Lights with a hybrid walker night and marketplace atmosphere. Participants walk the 1.3-mile loop around Morris Park to enjoy roughly 540 light displays, as well as shop for Christmas gifts made by local crafters and artisans.
Market in the Park Co-chair Dani DeVito said a ton of work goes into pulling off the event each year.
This event takes months to plan, an army of volunteers the night of and a bunch of different organizations to help,” DeVito said. “We have support from both the Marion and Taylor boards of education, who are providing buses. Marion County Transit provides us buses. Rotary gives us volunteers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We meet for months to make sure all the details are ironed out so we can make each year’s event better than the last year’s.”
In addition to the lights, vendors and food trucks, visitors to this year’s Market in the Park were able to enjoy music performed by the Fairmont Senior and North Marion high school bands, as well as the Fairmont Senior Madrigals.
Overall, Market in the Park – and the Celebration of Lights in general — is planned by the Rotary Club of South Fairmont, with all proceeds going to benefit the Tygart Valley United Way and the nonprofits in its five-county service region.
Tygart Valley United Way CEO Brett White said the money that comes from the Celebration of Lights every year is crucial to the United Way’s success.
The Celebration of Lights is very important to the United Way,” White said. “We couldn’t do what we do without it. It is the largest single gift to our United Way campaign, and it plays a big role in our campaign every year.